Guamanian politician Judi Guthertz released a statement on Monday showing support for the temporary relocation of U.S. affiliated refugees to the small pacific Island, which is an American territory housing Naval and Air Force bases. Once there, these Iraqis could escape the danger of living in Iraq while their visa applications are processed. Once processed, the Iraqis could then be resettled in the continental U.S.
Guthertz pressed Guam’s Governor, Eddie Calvo to raise the issue with President Obama. She added that “Guam is ready to help.” In the past, that is just what it has done. In 1975, over 100,000 Vietnamese refugees were brought to the island after the end of the war in Vietnam, and in 1996, Operation Pacific Haven brought over 4,000 endangered ethnic Iraqi Kurds to the island to be processed. Almost all those brought to the Island were eventually resettled in the U.S.
The so called “Guam option,” which has been advocated for by the List Project in the past, was again postured by the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Trudy Rubin in an article on Sunday. As of yet, the administration has had no plan for coming to the aid of the thousands of Iraqis who have worked for the U.S. other than the current refugee admissions programs, which have virtually come to a halt at a time when U.S. affiliated Iraqis need them the most. If they are left behind in Iraq they will be singled out as collaborators and their lives will no doubt be targeted.